C'mon, Big Money!

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 17, 2005

Like a dreamer ignoring his finances but snapping up lottery tickets in a desperate gambit to solve his financial woes for once and for all, the Hamilton continues chasing games bids hoping to hit the jackpot and cash in with new bling for the city.

In Friday's paper, the Hamilton Spectator rehashed its shameless response to the recent Maple Leaf decision with several pages dedicated to the failure of Spec publisher Jagoda Pike's pet project to lure the 2014 Commonwealth Games to the city.

The difference was that this time, there wasn't really an identifiable bad guy (although more than one article sniffed petulantly that the Commonwealth Games Canada board of directors had promised it to us in November, 2004.

Like most megaprojects, the Commonwealth Games bid would have granted its organizers some status and publicity, generated a flurry of excitement and news coverage, enriched a few well-connected contractors, and left nearly everyone else out in the cold.

The days of revitalizing cities with pork-barrel sports stadiums are long past. Hamilton has been hit with more than its share of magic bullets over the years, and many of those wounds have yet to heal.

Instead of pinning our hopes on lottery tickets, let's get our fundamentals in place by investing in sustainable infrastructure that will pay for itself and deliver added value and productivity gains for the future.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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